It gives one hope…
Participating in the fair for his first time, third-grader Matthew Keane of Westlake Elementary stood proudly in front of his biomimicry display.
“I wanted to learn if the leading edge of a humpback whale’s fin made it more efficient and hydrodynamic,” Keane said. “So I made two different whirly birds and dropped them from 18-feet. I found that the bumps on the edges of the fin cause the whale to turn sharper, and the shape increases lift and decreases drag.”
Continued at http://www.mercurynews.com/centralcoast/ci_11970162
See also the Biomimicry Institute’s Ask The Planet CD designed to encourage students like Matthew.
Via MSNBC via Discovery, news that scientists hope to create a sunscreen product inspired by hippo sweat. I liked the closing comment.
“As a student said to me several years ago, nature is full of solutions to our technical problems,” he said. “We just have to figure out how to look in the right place, and ask the right questions.”
Check out the video of collecting sweat samples (though you’ll have to put up with the dorky commentary from the two NBC anchors).